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CFS Toolkit - Coping with CFS

Emotional issues

In addition to routine CFS symptoms, people with CFS may face emotional issues besides their symptoms such as:

  • Problems coping with variable and unpredictable symptoms
  • Uncertainty about the future of their personal health
  • Feeling guilty, abandoned, and lonely

The following life changes can result from having CFS:

  • Loss of independence, livelihood, and financial security
  • Changes in relationships with family and friends
  • A decrease in stamina that interferes with activities of daily living
  • Memory and concentration problems that seriously impact work or school performance

It is normal for people with CFS to feel overwhelmed. However, in order to feel better, people should seek support to work through their emotions.


Adjusting and coping with the realities of CFS are important to feeling healthier. There are three ways that a person with CFS can strengthen their coping skills with emotional and psychosocial issues.

  1. Professional counseling. Get professional counseling, which can help people with CFS cope with their illness. A counselor can help people address their feelings of anxiety, depression, grief, anger, and guilt with problem solving techniques, standard psychotherapy, and counseling methods. Combined medication and psychotherapy may be appropriate in some situations.
  2. Support Group. CFS support groups can serve as a positive resource and social outlet for people with CFS. Support group members share tips and experiences for living with CFS. Going to group meeting can also get people with CFS out of the house and connected with others who understand their situation.
  3. Working/not working with a disability. For those who have enough energy to work, they should find employment that is favorable to their condition and live as independently as they can.

For people with CFS who are severely impaired and unable to work, it is important for them to accept and cope with the fact that they are temporarily unable to work and must utilize disability benefits. Doctors can help these persons with CFS by keeping good notes and using simple assessment tools to track health status for documentation purposes.

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